The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Wideford Hill

Chambered Cairn


Drive up almost to the top of the hill, park and walk down to the tomb. It's a horrible walk on a rough, well marked track for about 3/4 of a mile, but by christ, it's worth it. What a fabulous tomb!

Nestling into the hillside, the crouching, squashy pancake layers of the mound don't come into view until you're quite close. It has a little passage entrance at the front - too low to get through - but on the top of the mound, which you just can't resist climbing on, is a large horizontal metal sliding door. I pulled it back to reveal a dark gaping space with a metal ladder, inviting me to get in! I'd already grabbed the torch which Historic Scotland had politely left in a weatherproof box next to the information board, so down I went.

What magnificent construction! Corbelling just like at Maeshowe and Fairy Knowe - tight, precision engineering and a tall, tall chamber, boxy and with three side chambers and the front passageway going off it.

This was probably my favourite tomb of all on Orkney. Tons of character, fantastic views, beautiful construction, lots to discover and poke about with. It wasn't long before Moth and Hob were inside, too, crawling into side chambers, squealing with delight, taking photos and generally having the sort of great time that only modern antiquarians do. Jacqui descended into the tomb and even Cloudhigh and claustrophobic Jamesie got in. It was quite a party.
Jane Posted by Jane
7th July 2004ce
Edited 8th July 2004ce

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